Before beginning work on the band’s third, self-titled record, Evanescence had released two albums… two huge albums. The first album “Fallen” sprang colossal hits and introduced Amy Lee’s big dramatic voice to the world. After that, well it gets messy… band members leave, people move on and things happen. But the band’s sophomore album didn’t slump at all. “The Open Door” turned out to be a highly successful album- it sold almost 500,000 copies in its first week alone. But after that album's run was done, the constant touring and working with Evanescence wore on Amy Lee and after a pretty phenomenal run; she needed to know that she could exist outside of the band. Logically, the thing to do was to take some time off.
“I feel like I’ve just been writing that whole time but that’s not really true” Lee said of her time between Evanescence albums. “I started out just taking some time off. I got married in 2007 so I really just wanted to be home and work on our new home and be with my husband and just live a little bit. But the time off was good. I got to go see a lot of bands, I live in New York so there’s a lot of music, food, and culture going on. I just enjoyed city more than anything else. But in the meantime I can’t help but write and play the piano, so it just started happening naturally all by itself again. It eventually became a full-time obsession again and we’ve been obsessing over making this record for two years straight.”
The obsession started out somewhat casually, Lee wasn’t even sure that what she was doing while writing music during her time off was writing for Evanescence. “I didn’t have a plan; I love not having a plan. There was no plan specifically to make another Evanescence record at first” said Lee. “I just thought when inspiration strikes I’ll know what to do. I started writing music on my own. I wrote some with Tim. I wrote some with Terry. I wrote some with a programmer/producer friend of mine named Will Hunt- not the drummer Will Hunt, another Will Hunt.”
Writing songs to just write songs can feel like a bit of a lost cause but it turned out it was what Lee needed to get inspired to make Evanescence music again.
"So, I was writing with everyone trying different things writing in new ways and what’s cool about that is there was some awesome experimentation… but I kept hearing myself sound like myself” said Lee thinking back. “And I was missing the band and all of the other elements that come from making an Evanscence record. I missed the aggression of the band.”
Something funny happened when writing this album. It went from Amy Lee just writing the songs and doing a lot of the creative work to the band being heavily involved in the recording process.
“More and more we started writing together and it actually became the most band-driven record that we’ve had. The band’s instruments are really pushed to the front. Nick Raskulinecz is an amazing rock producer. It was sort of like band training camp with him and I felt like that we became really tight and really strong and we wanted to move those elements more and more to the front until it became what it is.”
So the most band-involved record that the band has released means more aggressive rock tracks from the band and less of Amy’s piano ballads. There is however one song on the album that stands out of the two slow/ballad songs, it’s called “Lost in Paradise” and it was a favorite of Amy Lee’s to make.
“This record doesn’t really give you a rest… it’s just pounding. For me, when you get to those songs it’s an important contrast” noted Lee on making a ‘ballad’ in the middle of an album. “When you get to the moment where you’re finally taking a breath I want it to be sparse. I think “Lost in Paradise” is the most-true ballad of the record.” That whole part of the song was just vocals, piano, and a little bit of strings. I feel like that was a giant mountain to go in and perform it because there’s nothing to hide behind, it’s just you and the performance. I love that song so much it’s definitely one of my favorites. I think it’s important to keep it sparse when it’s going to be that type of song, because the record of the record for us is so much, all the time, all at once.”
The song has been getting some steady attention on iTunes as have the songs “My Heart is Broken” and “What You Want” and things are obviously working to some degree, the band opened up at number one on the billboard charts. Now that the album is out, the next step is to hit the road.
“We’re just excited. I’ve definitely had my moments where I’m sick of tour and ready to take a break. But I had so much of a break that we’re really ready for tour right now.” Lee added, “We just love it, it feels amazing to be connecting with our fans again. We’re playing a lot of new material, obviously that’s what I’m most excited about, but of course we’re playing the old hits too. It’s just fun it’s a whole different aspect of this that we haven’t focused on in awhile and it feels really good to get back into that again and start traveling again.”
The third album from Evanescence is available now.